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TV Notes: 4/20/03

Saturday, April 19, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

WPGH changes afoot

At a meeting Monday, the news and production staff at Sinclair-owned WPGH will learn when a new set will debut on Channel 53's 10 p.m. news that will match in style the set at News Central, Sinclair's centralized news operation in Hunt Valley, Md.

From its News Central facility, Sinclair offers full newscasts to stations in smaller markets that don't have their own local news operations.

WPGH began using weekend weather reports from News Central in January, and there's been speculation that Channel 53's newscast will toss to the anchor desk at News Central for national stories in the future.

On Thursday, station manager Alan Frank had no comment on whether the new set or integration of material from News Central will lead to a reduction in local staffing.

WQED's 'Bandstand'

WQED will debut producer T.J. Lubinsky's latest local show, "Pittsburgh Bandstand," with a one-hour special at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Taped Friday nights at Linden Grove in Castle Shannon, the show features local dancing to music of the '50s, '60s and '70s.

The regular time slot for "Pittsburgh Bandstand" will be 6 p.m. Saturdays. A radio edition of "Bandstand" airs Thursdays, 8 p.m. to midnight, on WLSW (103.9 FM).)

'Get Schooled' at mall

Todd Newton, host of "Whammy!" on Game Show Network, will be at Ross Park Mall's Center Court Tuesday as part of the network's "Get Schooled Tour," presented in partnership with Comcast Cable.

Newton's appearance will begin at 3 p.m. and he'll be on-site until the awarding of a $10,000 grand prize as part of a game show competition. The prize will be deposited in a 529 college savings plan.

In addition to the live game show, raffles, prizes and interactive game demonstrations will be part of the "Get Schooled Tour." Staff from Bank of America, one of the tour's sponsors, will be on hand to answer questions about college financial planning.

Events are open to people of all ages, but attendees must be 16 years or older to enter for a chance to be selected to compete on stage for the college tuition grand prize.

'Blind Date' auditions

Auditions for the syndicated dating show "Blind Date" (10 p.m. weeknights, WCWB) will be held Friday at Matrix, Station Square, from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Host Roger Lodge and a casting crew will interview prospective contestants. Any singles selected will fly to Los Angeles to be taped while on an actual blind date.

Student auditions

Producers of CBS's "As the World Turns" will conduct live screen tests during "The Early Show" next week.

First-year University of Pittsburgh student Rob Feinberg will audition Friday in hopes of landing a role on the soap. Feinberg was discovered by producers when the soap filmed at Pitt last year.

Channel surfing

"The Charlie Godart Show," a paid program featuring entertainment by and for local people, now airs weekly on low-power station WBGN at 11 p.m. Wednesdays.

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